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‘The Elysian Fields’ is a multi-medium installation by artist Dr Sofi Basseghi. The work presents contemporary interpretations of ‘Paradise’ in relation to the politics of place.

‘The Elysian Fields’ brings two video works together, ‘Elusive Paradise’ (2018) and ‘Elysium’ (2021). The works explore the Persian roots of the word Paradise, as well as the lives of two women born in 1984, Iran. Both women are in search of a paradise: one in an Iranian garden, and the other through migration to Australia.​

The women traverse between private and public realms, narrating their lives as they move between urban and rural landscapes. They describe the patriarchal laws and social, political, religious, superstitious and cultural upheavals that have impacted them.

Basseghi combines documentary film and narrative video art practices to present multiple perspectives. The viewer moves between the snow-blanketed landscape of the Iranian winter to the dry heat of an Australian summer. Through factual, fictional, mystical, and dreamlike imagery influenced by Persian mythology, the perspectives are linked by a garden (Pairidaeza) and a river.

Exhibition Design by Ehsan Khoshnami.
Performances by actor Salme Geransar and courageous women of Iran.
Music composition by Ai Yamamoto.

This exhibition is presented in association with International Women’s Day.

Accessibility information

Please note that this exhibition includes the following: moving images, sound, captioned and uncaptioned audio of people speaking.


Counihan Gallery
Phone: 03 9389 8622

Further information

For exhibition updates you can follow the Counihan Gallery Instagram page. You can also go to the Counihan Gallery Facebook page.

This exhibition is in the Rear Gallery.